Authorities in New Jersey have transferred a transgender inmate who impregnated two female inmates while she was being held at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, the Department of Corrections announced, per NJ.com.
The inmate, identified as 27-year-old Demi Minor, was moved to the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in June, Department of Corrections spokesman Dan Sperrazza said. Sperrazza added that Minor is currently the only female inmate at the facility.
In the wake of the incident, Sperrazza said the women became pregnant from “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person”, Face2Face Africa reported at the time.
Minor was sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter, records from the corrections department show. She will become eligible for parole in 2037.
And though the news outlet was unable to reach Minor and her attorney for comments, the transgender inmate shared a July 5 post on her website where she accused corrections officers of beating and forcibly transferring her to the Garden State Youth Correctional facility.
The DOC announced it has opened an investigation into Minor’s allegations. “NJDOC cannot comment on any active investigations,” the DOC said in a statement. “The Department has zero tolerance for abuse, and the safety and security of the incarcerated population and staff are of critical importance.”
The Edna Mahan Correctional Facility is the only female prison in New Jersey. The state adopted a policy in June last year that requires state prisons to house transgender people based on their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth. The move was well-received by activists considering many transgender inmates in the U.S. are housed in prisons according to their gender assigned at birth and are usually harassed.
Jeanne LoCicero, legal director of the ACLU’s New Jersey chapter, indicated that the current policy “reflects best practices to ensure the health, dignity, and safety of people in (DOC) custody.”
Following reports of the two inmates getting pregnant by the transgender inmate, Gov. Phil Murphy said that issues with how to properly segregate prisoners at Edna Mahan are “among the many reasons” he has ordered the facility to close, NJ.com reported.
“Part of the reason to close it — and there are many, sadly — is the inability to segregate populations based on incidences or behaviors,” Murphy said. “And that’s on a long list of reasons why it has to be closed and that’s in process.”
In 2021, Murphy disclosed state plans to close the prison after reports that corrections officers had “violently extracted women from their cells and brutalized them in the middle of the night.”